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US: JPMorgan earnings spur stocks higher


[NEW YORK] Shares of large banks rocketed upward on Wednesday following better-than-expected earnings from JPMorgan Chase, lifting Wall Street stocks as investors brushed aside lackluster US economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 187.03 points (1.06 per cent) to 17,908.28.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 20.70 (1.00 per cent) to 2,082.42, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 75.33 (1.55 per cent) to 4,947.42.

JPMorgan led the Dow, rising 4.2 per cent after reporting adjusted earnings per share of US$1.35 per share, nine cents above analyst expectations. Loan growth was solid, a trend that bodes well for other US bank earnings, analysts said.

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Other large banks also surged, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, which gained 3.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. Goldman Sachs won 3.6 per cent and Citigroup 5.6 per cent.

US retail sales fell 0.3 per cent in March and producer prices slipped 0.1 per cent, whereas both reports were expected to show gains.

But stocks were supported by Chinese trade data that showed exports rose 11.5 per cent in March to US$160.8 billion, the first gain in nine months.

US-listed Chinese companies rose, including Alibaba, up 2.3 per cent, Baidu, up 3.5 per cent and, up 5.3 per cent.

Caterpillar climbed 4.0 per cent as it maintained its dividend, saying its balance sheet remains strong despite weak demand among some of its industrial customers.

Dow member Verizon dropped 1.3 per cent on news that about 39,000 landline workers from the company went on strike after labor negotiators and company management failed reach a deal on a new contract.

Most leading technology shares advanced, with Apple rising 1.4 per cent, Amazon, 1.9 per cent, Netflix 2.5 per cent and Tesla Motors 2.7 per cent.


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